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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Autism Shenanigans

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Autism Shenanigans: It’s no secret that the two houses of the state Legislature, controlled by opposing parties, aren’t agreeing on much this session. One good bill is getting stuck in the final days of the regular legislative session: insurance coverage of autism. Senate Democrats—plus 15 Senate Republicans—voted to mandate that insurance companies cover treatment for autistic kids (SB 178). But Assembly Republicans want to give private insurers $6 million of state money and $8 million of federal money for coverage.

An editorial in the Wausau Daily Herald ripped the Assembly plan, saying: “Just to be clear, the proposed $14 million in aid to insurance companies…is not being offered in exchange for mandating coverage of autism treatments. It is being offered instead of a mandate. That means the insurance companies would get the giveaway, while Wisconsin parents receive no new guarantee that treatments for their autistic children would be covered.”

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